Covid-19 curfew lifted at Djokovic-Nadal French Open match

Fans of Novak Djokovic hold a banner during the semi final match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spain's Rafael Nadal in Paris June 11, 2021. ― Reuters pic
Fans of Novak Djokovic hold a banner during the semi final match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spain's Rafael Nadal in Paris June 11, 2021. ― Reuters pic

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PARIS, June 12 ― The French Open semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was given permission to be concluded in front of spectators yesterday despite the tie exceeding an 11pm Covid-19 curfew.

“In agreement with the national authorities, the match will come to an end in your presence,” said a stadium announcer to 5,000 spectators on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Djokovic had just won the third set of the semi-final on a tiebreak when the news was announced for a two sets to one lead.

Some fans had already chanted: “We will not leave, we will not leave” as the 11pm curfew came into view.

Upon learning that they had been allowed to stay, spectators began chanting “Thank you Macron! Thank you Macron!” in gratitude to the apparent intervention of the French President.

Nadal and Djokovic, meeting for the 58th time, had already been on court for three and a half hours.

On Wednesday, 5,000 fans were shunted off the same court when Djokovic's quarter-final with Matteo Berrettini had passed the curfew time.

“We paid €500 (RM2,488) for two thirds of a match, it is unacceptable,” said one angry fan at that match. ― AFP

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